Well Sunwing was wonderful as usual .... The flight wasn't full so we each had 3 seats to ourselves .... the return flight was much the same .... they said that the incoming flight on the 7th had less than 100 passengers! It is nice because it's a 5 hour flight and being crammed in to those tiny seats would have been hard to take otherwise.
The trip to the hotel was over 2 hours long and we knew that going in ... they stopped part way to use the washroom and when we got to the hotel they had our room keys waiting... fastest check-in ever! They took us right to the buffet for something to eat as it was quite late.
The room had 2 queen sized beds and was quite clean and very large ... the bathroom was nice but small ... our room looked onto the 1st pool (we were in the building right off the lobby building). Each building had about 10 rooms per floor and 4 floors... we found it quiet, even when the holiday weekend guests came in. We were given a bottle of wine, large bottle of water and our beach towels were already in the room for us... we later found out that we were considered ViP's and not everyone got that treatment!
The Sunwing rep was very good and available when she said she would be (not like those in Cuba who you could seldom find). We didn't have too many issues but one couple had a few problems and when the front desk wasn't accommodating they told the rep and she had it fixed right away... they were even sent a fruit basket and bottle of wine to make up for the problems.
There are about 7 bars and all well stocked. The buffet was excellent ... omelette station for breakfast, pasta station at lunch and dinner, carved meats at dinner, lots of selection and variety. There were 2 al carte's which we tried but weren't too impressed although others liked it.
They have 2 bird cages on the property, one with a toucan and one with 4 large mackaws .. they were very friendly.. there were also 2 smaller green parrots that sat around the buffet.... in the mornings they were allowed in an area near the entrance to the buffet and squaked and carried on and were generally very amusing... they also allowed people to handle them so they were pretty popular... the rest of the day they played in the palm trees near the buffet entrance.
The beach had quite a tide and a lot of waves so unless you were a strong swimmer you didn't go in the water much. When the tide was out there were lots of jellyfish to look at. We were warned about them and to also watch for stingrays. They told us none were fatal and what to do if we got stung. The beach was private as well so not one single person approached us for anything... something we really appreciated.
We took 2 tours... one was the Panama City/Canal tour. It included lunch. It was a long way to the city which sort of took some of the fun out of the trip but it was very educational and the tour guide was great.
The second tour was to the rain forest. We were taken by bus to a boat (about a 2 hour ride) and then the boat took us into the Panama Canal, past huge container ships etc .. that was cool.. once in Gutan Lake (the lake they created to hold water for the canal), we were shown all sorts of birds, crocs, monkey, iguana's etc. Then we stopped for lunch and had the opportunity to use some kayaks or go fishing... and then back to the hotel. It also was good although a really long bus trip.
The hotel is really in the middle of nowhere so you can't go to the local pub, shop or anything unless you are willing to take a $60 taxi ride or a bus tour through the hotel. That part was very disappointing to us... and the store at the hotel was horribly expensive so we didn't buy one single thing. The tours also didn't give us much of a chance to buy anything so I didn't even get my regular tshirt! I thought I would just wait and get something at the airport but they didn't have anything either... there were quite a few stores at the airport and every single one was "duty free" in their "duty free zone"... they sold tv's, watches, perfumes, liquor, all that sort of thing, but not one single pack of gum, magazine or tshirt.
We would definitely recommend the trip to anyone who wants to go to a tropical destination. If I was to do it again I wouldn't go to Playa Blanca only because it is so secluded. We had been told the hotels along the carribean side are better for swimming and snorkeling so we would look for those locations.
All in all it was a great experience and sure have the suntan to prove it!
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- Also Known As:
- Playa Blanca Hotel Farallon
- Playa Blanca Hotel And Resort
- Hotel Playa Blanca Panama
- Playa Blanca Resort Panama
- Playa Blanca Panama City
- Blanca Panama Playa
- Hotel Playa Blanca Beach Resort Panama